Lionsgate head Jon Feltheimer has released in recent remarks that the studio is deeply considering spinoffs for their two most popular franchises.
Update (February 6): Speaking to analysts this morning, Feltheimer re-itereated his plans for more Hunger Games movies. He says Lionsgate is “actively looking at some development and thinking about prequel and sequel possibilities,” according to Deadline.
A prequel would be easy to imagine since there are so many Hunger Games tournaments for them to draw from (as we discuss below), but a sequel seems less obvious. What could they do after the events of Mockingjay? The epilogue, set 20 years later, doesn’t have much to draw from because it’s a peaceful ending.
Original story (January 23):
Feltheimer told The Hollywood Reporter this week that they hope to have continued success with The Hunger Games and Divergent franchises by spinning at least one of them off, citing the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises as examples of what they could do.
“We’re always looking for ways to extend all of our intellectual property. We’ve seen that’s what happened with Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings,” he said, referring to Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Hobbit film trilogies, “So we’re always looking for worlds within the IP that we haven’t explored yet.”
It makes perfect sense for Lionsgate to follow in the footsteps of Warner Brothers. After all, it was WB who paved the way with the concept of splitting books into two movies. Both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ended up being huge hits.
When pressed about what kinds of spinoffs Lionsgate could do for The Hunger Games, Feltheimer said, “Not saying specifically for The Hunger Games, but we have other franchises, too. If you look at Divergent, for example, after the third book, [author Veronica Roth] actually put out a novella called Four. There may be other material there. One never knows when we dig into the treasure troves of these brilliant writers what we might find.”
In theory, The Hunger Games spinoff — if they decide to move ahead with one — could be announced sooner since Mockingjay, Part 2 hits theaters this November. Allegiant, Part 2, on the other hand, won’t open until March 2017.
This isn’t the first time that Lionsgate has hinted at spinoffs, and it certainly won’t be the last. Earlier this month we joked about the possibility of a Hunger Games spinoff following Finnick during his first Hunger Games tournament, and fans took a liking to the idea because there’s probably a good story to tell there.
If the studio were to move ahead on a Divergent spinoff, Roth’s Four is certainly a good choice. However, they may have to recast the actor who plays Four because Theo James is already 30, and Four is set before the events of Divergent. We wouldn’t mind seeing a young, hot up-and-comer play Four. (Don’t get us wrong. We love Theo.)
It’s worth noting that their original hit film series, Twilight, has yet to receive a spinoff — though we know they’ve thought about it. Perhaps the lack of a vampire spinoff is a good sign for Divergent and Hunger Games fans, because it means they’ll only create a new series if they can come up with a great idea.